Bearded Customer Service Sandals

Have you noticed how much more customer service matters these days? Social media has given consumers their biggest voice yet and companies are noticing.  They understand that a few tweets and a status update can send their brand on a downward spiral. Companies are responding with campaigns to show they “care” about customers, which seems great right? “I’m finally getting the respect I deserve!” Maybe so, but there’s still something wrong with this picture.

A New Perspective

I recently had the chance to talk with Lionel Thompson of Giving Anonymously, an organization that lets individuals send money to their friends—without them knowing. Even without a marketing plan, Lionel and his wife Misha found themselves featured in the New York Times, NPR, and NBC on more than one occasion. How did it happen? Spend half an hour with either of these people and you’ll understand why: their passion for serving others is contagious.

As Lionel and I talked, I brought up this issue on social media and how it’s given consumers a voice. He agreed businesses are hearing that voice and are responding with exceptional customer service. He also pointed out something I had not thought of…

The reason why great customer service has risen in popularity is because it’s profitable. This trend has not developed because of a change of heart in the business world. Motives have not moved. The truth is, serving people and making them feel “loved” is an utter cash cow (no pun intended).

customer service





But what if it wasn’t? What if serving other people was not profitable?

For the sake of argument, lets pretend we are living in the year 2110, where serving others is a terrible business idea. Consumers aren’t loyal, word of mouth is a joke, and any money spent on “customer love” will decrease profits, guaranteed. As CEO, would you risk the vitality of your company to serve the average joe, knowing for a fact it would never produce a dime?

Motivation

In today’s world, the question is not, “How can we serve others” but “Why do we serve others?” Do we ask our employees how their day is going because it’s scientifically proven to increase productivity or do we honestly care about their well being? Are we patient with upset customers because we’re afraid of angry blog posts or do we just want help people who are having a bad day?

Perhaps we should ask an even bigger question:

“What is the purpose of our company?

And what is my purpose within our company?”

The Example

A couple thousand years ago a bearded guy with dirty sandals started the most viral campaign in history. With all the miracles he performed, speeches he gave, and followers he had, Jesus could have accomplished anything. In fact, many people thought he was going to overthrow the Roman government. He had that kind of power.

So, what was the purpose of Jesus’ viral campaign? (Hint: it was not pay-per-click revenue)

He makes it clear at a point when his closest followers are bickering over their titles, leadership roles, and who gets the corner office (upper management bureaucracy at its finest):

“You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different.

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:41-45)

Jesus came to serve. More importantly, he served without the desire for something in return.

What would he have wanted? Wealth? He was a nomad. Women? He was single. Loyalty? His friends betrayed him the night before his death.

No, Jesus served others because it was the sole reason for his human existence. It was his purpose.

My hope is that organizations and movements and people will exist to serve others in the same way, not because it’s profitable but because people matter. Not because it’s a fad but because our outlook on life, our ultimate purpose for living, has changed.

Follow the leader.

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SuperNack

Hey, Ryan Rotz here. If you'd like more info about me, SuperNack, or if you'd like to get in touch, please visit the 'About' page at the top. Thanks for reading!